Nigel Havers to star as Lord Hepworth in Downton Abbey
Nigel Havers is set to join the cast of Downton Abbey
The 59-year-old star – who played male escort Lewis Archer, hired by Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls), in the Manchester-based ITV1 soap – will also be joined in the period drama series, which features Dame Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville, by The Inspector Linley Mysteries actress Sharon Small.
An insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: 'Nigel and Sharon will be the perfect additions to this year's Downton. They are incredibly talented actors and are already hugely popular with our audience.
'After the success of last year's series bosses are determined to keep up the momentum by introducing high-profile stars to keep viewers excited.
There's massive anticipation ahead of the second series and brining in well known faces like Nigel will help the show come back with a bang.
'We're very excited that Nigel Havers and Sharon Small will be joining the cast later this year. They are looking forward to getting started on set.'
The show – which attracted 11 million views at the end of the first series – is set to return this Christmas.